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`Brands need to be relevant and engaging'

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Mr Suresh Kumar, Director, Mindspark Consulting, speaks to the students of Danish College of Engineering on Tuesday.
Mr Suresh Kumar, Director, Mindspark Consulting, speaks to the students of Danish College of Engineering on Tuesday.

Our Bureau

Chennai, Dec. 21

AN organisation needs to keep in mind five simple tenets while building brands: Be credible, simple, relevant, consistent and engaging.

Mr Suresh Kumar, Director, Mindspark Consulting, elaborated on these five points in a talk last week on `Your brand is a golden goose' to MBA and engineering students of Danish Engineering College, Padappai, as part of the ongoing BL Club lecture series.

Quoting marketing guru David Aaker, Mr Kumar said that brands need to manage what they promise and deliver on those promises. "There's nothing more wasteful than building a brand around an empty promise," he said.

Elaborating on the five-point strategy that he outlined, he said that a brand's mission should be single minded and consistent while its communication's emphasis should be on clarity and brevity. Its role should be innovative yet relevant and maintain a credible stance.

Emphasising the importance of brand building to the fair number of engineering students present, Mr Kumar said that today brand building is not a marketing role but an organisation-wide activity and engineers would be sadly mistaken if they thought they were not involved in selling the products to consumers. Drawing upon his experience in an engineering company, TI Cycles, Mr Kumar said that personnel from all departments were involved in creating and marketing the final product as ultimately engineers too would need to understand consumers and `right engineer' products to suit them. Nobody can operate in a vacuum, he stressed.

Mr Kumar cited many examples of successful brands such as Starbucks and McDonald's which have struck a chord with consumers. These brands, he said, were always involved in engaging customers in a unique experience. Brands need to be part and parcel of life and do not reside in marketing text books, he said, asking the students to look around themselves and see how many brands they engage with day in and out. Great brands, he said, continually aspire to perfect each of the touchpoints with its customers.

Brand management is very challenging and complex today, he said. There are too many brands and channels to advertise and the power to change is with the highly networked consumer.

Present at the meeting were Mr Alhaj K. Moosa, Chairman of the college, Mr Suresh Mohankumar, Principal, and Mr N. Raj Kumar, Head, school of management.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 22, 2005)
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